a) inspiring fear; fearful, terrible


b) portending disaster; portentous; ominous

, 1603-06: "As whence the sun gins his reflection, shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break," — Macbeth: Ac.1 Sc2, Wm. Shakespeare.

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  • Direful — Dire ful, a. [Dire + ful.] Dire; dreadful; terrible; calamitous; woeful; as, a direful fiend; a direful day. {Dire ful*ly}, adv. {Dire ful*ness}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • direful — index dire, ominous, portentous (ominous) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • direful — [adj] fearful; horrible apocalyptic, appalling, awful, baleful, baneful, calamitous, dreadful, fateful, ghastly, gloomy, horrid, ill boding, inauspicious, ominous, shocking, terrible, terrific, unlucky, unpropitious; concepts 537,570 Ant. good,… …   New thesaurus

  • direful — [dīr′fəl] adj. dreadful; terrible direfully adv …   English World dictionary

  • direful — adjective Date: 1565 1. dreadful < direful war began again Charles Dickens > 2. ominous • direfully adverb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • direful — direfully, adv. direfulness, n. /duyeur feuhl/, adj. 1. dreadful; awful; terrible. 2. indicating trouble: direful forecasts. [1575 85; DIRE + FUL] * * * …   Universalium

  • direful — dire•ful [[t]ˈdaɪər fəl[/t]] adj. 1) dreadful; awful; terrible 2) indicating trouble: direful forecasts[/ex] • Etymology: 1575–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • direful — I (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) a. see dire II (Roget s Thesaurus II) adjective 1. Causing or able to cause fear: appalling, dire, dreadful, fearful, fearsome, formidable, frightful, ghastly, redoubtable, scary, terrible, tremendous. See FEAR. 2.… …   English dictionary for students

  • direful — dire·ful || daɪəfÊŠl adj. terrible, dreadful …   English contemporary dictionary

  • direful — adjective archaic extremely bad. Derivatives direfully adverb …   English new terms dictionary

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